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. China seeks volunteers for AIDS vaccine trials: report

by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) March 21, 2009
Chinese scientists are seeking volunteers to undergo a second phase of human trials on an AIDS vaccine, state media reported Saturday.

China began research into an AIDS vaccine 13 years ago and conducted its first phase of clinical trials on 49 people aged between 18 and 50 in the Guangxi region of southern China in 2005, the Xinhua news agency said.

"The recipients of the vaccine do not show any signs of adverse effects. Immune tests for the vaccine have also proved favourable results," said Kong Wei, one of the programme's team leaders.

Researchers said they wanted to enroll another 30 volunteers for the second phase of tests for the vaccine, which must undergo three lots of clinical trials before it can be approved for use.

Officially, China had 276,630 AIDS cases in 2008 and 38,100 deaths, but experts say the true figure is much higher as the tally refers only to confirmed incidents of the condition.

UNAIDS says that between 30 and 50 million people are affected by the disease in China, where transmission through sexual activity is increasingly common.

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US group funds AIDS, TB research center in SAfrica
Washington (AFP) March 19, 2009
A US philanthropic group announced Thursday it will invest 60 million dollars in a research center for HIV-AIDS and tuberculosis in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal, a province at the heart of a global pandemic of the two diseases.

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